AustralianFarmers

Common Roads, Common Sense

Join us in promoting common sense and safe interactions between large farm machinery and the motoring public on regional roads.

Large agricultural vehicles (LAVs) are important pieces of machinery that spend most of their time working the land. But, from time to time they need to use the public roads to move from farm to farm.

For many road users, encountering these vehicles can be confusing or overwhelming.

To ensure an easy interaction, and the safety of both farmers and the motoring public, we’ve launched a campaign to educate drivers on how best to manage those unavoidable situations when cars and LAVs share our roads.

Check out the instructional video below

Three simple steps

The Common Roads, Common Sense campaign is underpinned by a simple three-step process to guide driving decisions.

Why is this important?

Agriculture is the backbone of Australia and we are home to some the most innovative, responsible and productive farmers in the world. In 2018-2019 the value of agricultural production will be $60 billion, making it an important source of economic strength and social enrichment in rural and regional communities.

The National Farmers’ Federation has developed a roadmap for how the value of production can be $100 billion by 2030, but to achieve this, every individual farmer needs to go about efficient day-to-day operation of their business, and sometimes this will mean moving LAVs on public roads.

To help keep everyone calm and safe we need the support of the wider public.  This campaign will engender mutual respect and goodwill on the roads, and forge a sense of appreciation of what is required to grow Australia’s quality food and fibre.

Real stories

Meet Jason Mellings, Victorian Farmer

As a grain grower in Victoria’s Wimmera region, there are times when Jason Mellings has no choice but to drive tractors, harvesters and other large farm machinery on roads which are shared with the public. This also means he’s witnessed first-hand countless occasions where the driving decisions made by motorists have been panicked and fuelled by confusion or a lack of understanding of what these Large Agricultural Vehicles (LAVs) do, and how to safely interact with them.

“I often see that a driver’s first instinct is to panic, react and to try to pass straight away. That feeling of anxiety seems to be a key issue, but it can be reduced by learning how to safely drive around farm machinery.”

Read Jason’s story here.

Meet Richard Meally, Grey Nomad

After 30 years as a truck driver, Richard and his wife, Lindy, embarked on life as grey nomads, travelling across the nation towing their caravan.

His extensive driving experience has provided Richard, originally form Beacroft in New South Wales, with detailed insights into driving around Large Agricultural Vehicles (LAVs) like tractors, harvesters and spray rigs, and how to safely navigate this interaction.

“You need to remain mindful that the type of situations you may come across on country roads are different, and adapt accordingly. From what I have seen it is generally a lack of knowledge and understanding that can create potentially dangerous situations.”

Read Richard’s story here.

Additional resources

FAQs

What is a Large Agricultural Vehicle (LAV)?
LAVs are large and oversized machines needed to grow Australia’s food and fibre. This may include harvesters, cotton pickers, sprayers, seeders, cane harvesters and anything in between.
Why do LAVs need to drive on the road?
From time to time, it’s unavoidable but important that large farm machinery use the public road system to move them between farms. These journeys are normally short and cause minimal disruption.
Why do we need LAVs?
Farmers rely on LAVs to help them efficiently and safely grow food and fibre for our communities. Around 93% of the food consumed in Australia is grown right here at home – and LAVs are the vehicles that help put that food on our plate.

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